Friday, 22 May 2009

VOR: DELTA LLOYD LEG SEVEN DAY 5 QFB: received 20.05.09 1802 GMT

Nick Bice tries to stay warm on board Delta Lloyd. Image copyright Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Sander Pluijm

It could be worse...

After a rather disappointing night when Telefónica Blue overtook us, it was yet again a fabulous day of sailing as we rounded the ice-gate mark and started the Atlantic crossing downwind as fourth boat in the fleet today around 1400 GMT.

Apart from the few hours on the last leg, it was since the start of leg two in Cape Town the first time that we did some real downwind sailing on the Delta Lloyd. There has been a lot of upwind sailing during these past legs, so the boys are happy and smiling. Finally the big kite is dancing in front of the boat and the speedometer is going up. The sun is shining, temperature is going up, wind chill is up because the wind is coming in from the back, and life could be a lot worse on board the Delta Lloyd... Everybody who loves ocean-racing has got to love downwind sailing as well on these boats! They are like surfboards gliding down the waves in a perfect ride.

And the best of all, we are in fourth place and we can see our direct opponent Telefónica Blue on our bow. So the next couple of days will be a big fight for the third place because on our stern we can see the PUMA-boys aiming for our spot.

More breeze is coming in the next two days, up to 40 knots. So we are up for some serious downwind racing. Already guys are discussing the ETA because there will be another 1000-mile ETA-bet organised. Questions are: will navigator Wouter Verbraak be allowed to bet again? Will he have to pay double or more? Will everybody else as always be too optimistic again? And will Stu Wilson, in the same way he answers every 'when’ question, bet on Tuesday again..? Will Morgan White win again? All to be answered in the next couple of days.

A few guys have a cold and running noses. But apart from that, the boat and crew are in good shape and ready to start the classic crossing.

Scrambled eggs and bacon
Power shake
Roast lamb and mashed potatoes

Quote of the day after saying sorry for waking him up again for a tack: "Sander, it could be much could be raining" (Andre Fonseca)

Volvo Ocean Race

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